January 4, 2005 (Washington, DC) -- Media Matters for America today announced that Staples, Inc. will no longer advertise on local news programming on Sinclair Broadcast Group TV stations nationwide. Citing an effort to be responsive to customer concerns about Sinclair's injection of partisan conservative politics into its nightly newscasts, Staples, Inc. attributed its decision in part to the response the company received from customers visiting the SinclairAction.com website.
On December 14, Media Matters for America -- supported by MoveOn.org, MediaChannel, Working Assets, Robert Greenwald (director of the film Outfoxed), Campaign for America's Future, Free Press, and AlterNet -- launched the SinclairAction.com site as part of a nationwide campaign to expose the conservative slant of Sinclair's television news programming. The groups have focused their protest on Sinclair's airing of "The Point," a daily conservative news commentary read by Sinclair vice president Mark Hyman, while providing no opportunity for progressive counterpoints. The groups asked activists to contact advertisers on the 62 TV stations Sinclair owns or operates to enlist them in the campaign to get Sinclair to provide balance to "The Point."
On the heels of the www.SinclairAction.com nationwide campaign, the website has recorded more than 113,000 visitors and approximately 36,200 emails sent to advertisers.
Staples, Inc. recently replied via email to consumers who registered concerns about Sinclair newscasts, stating: "As a result of Staples' ongoing review of its advertising media buy activity, Staples will no longer be airing advertising on any Sinclair station's local news programs as of Jan 10, 2005."
"As stewards of the public airwaves, Sinclair Broadcast Group has a responsibility to provide balanced programming," said David Brock, President and CEO of Media Matters for America. "We applaud Staples' action, which gives a big boost to our effort to encourage Sinclair to provide balanced coverage."# # #